September 23, 2010

What Lies beneath the clothing?

Feeling: Honest

Every week I go onto a website called the Shape of a Mother (www.theshapeofamother.com).

It is a website where normal woman post pictures of their bodies before, during and after pregnancy - NO PHOTOSHOPPING allowed. It shows only the real deal!
Be warned most of the woman are naked, so don't go on it at work :-)

This website displays pictures and stories that are sent in by normal mothers. They don't look like Posh Spice or Heidi Klum after giving birth that is for sure. It very cleverly dispels the new mother size 0 myth in one foul swoop and that is why I like it.
Come to think of it, I actually don't know anyone who looks like these celebrities after giving birth ...do you?

The mothers who post their very personal pictures and stories have a bit of extra junk in the trunks, stretch marks, loose skin, saggy boobs, scars and poor body image.
They are brave, they show the world what they are hiding under their clothes after having children!
The good, the bad and the ugly side of post partum.

The Shape of a Mother gives normal woman a chance to express how hectic pregnancy is and that no matter who you are it changes not only your life but body as well.
It also shows that yes we love our kids but boy growing them alters ones body sometimes a little but most times a lot.
We don't have to be happy or accepting about the changes - battle scars, badges of honor but we are thankfully not alone!
Often mothers feel guilty that they are not happy with their post partum bodies, we love our kids but hate our bodies - SOUND familiar.

My personal opinion is that a lot of the post partum depression that new mothers suffer from is caused by unrealistic expectations which makes us feel sh1tty about ourselves and our less than perfect bodies after birth! Especially since the media splashes/ bombards us with images of celebrities practically walking out of the hospital after giving birth looking like they walked off the cover of Vogue!

I sure as hell didn't look or feel glamorous at all, squishy tummy, milk filled boobs, Caesar scar, granny panties holding in all my bit and bobs, ohhh and ping ponging hormones...YIP one yummy mummy right here..snigger!

When I feel pregnant I decided that I would not pick up a huge amount of weight. Trust me it was hard, I have never felt so hungry in all my life. Food became my first love. I had to control myself all the time. I made sure that I did not go overboard for the sake of going overboard (sadly it is a myth that we are eating for two). I monitored my own weight gain and made sure that I chose only healthy options. It was tough especially when those cravings attacked....but most times I was able to fend them off! Not every time but most times :-)

I gymed 3-4 times a week right up to the day before I gave birth (it is a myth that you can not do physical activity while pregnant). I did cardio, weight training and pilates but please note: I had a VERY easy pregnancy, I could do this without endangering myself or my son. It is not the same for every woman. High risk pregnancies or woman who get hectic morning sickness ect may not be capable or allowed to follow my rigorous routine. Ask your gyno first!

The Wednesday before I had my son, he was born on Sunday I had picked up 9.4kg's. When I left the hospital I had 3 kg's to loose to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. People now tell me that I look the same as I did before but I know the truth about what lies beneath!

The real deal is - I did not get away from the post pregnancy body even though I tried my damnedest. I am however pleased that I did the best I could.
Things have however changed and I am not happy about it.

My 36 week belly.



Here are my post birth issues:

1. I have a hernia in my belly button - it used to be an inny and it is now an outty! It pops out as soon as I eat or do stomach exercises. It look and feels really yukky.

2. I have a Caesar scar.

3.My waist is defiantly wider.

4. I have a bit of loose skin on my tummy and my tummy is no longer flat, it is kinnda rounded!

5. My boobs are gone - I had a boob job a few years back (A cup to D cup). They are now a small C and are only implants. If I had not had the implants I would have had nothing left and would now look like a dude.Thank goodness for them!

I would love too hear from you moms.
How has your body changed after pregnancy?
How do you feel about your battle scars/ badges of honor?

I do hope that this post will encourage anyone who is going to have a baby - you can keep the weight gain under control.

I hope that anyone who is feeling horrible, sad or just plain grossed out by their post partum body will realise that you are not alone...I am standing here right beside you.
I have my good and bad days as well!

Know one gets away scott free, I hope that by sharing how my body is less than perfect that you will feel a bit better about yours

Much Love M x

2 comments:

  1. I didnt have a body worth showing off before falling pregnant but I managed to stay the same weight throughout my pregnancy by excercise and eating right. (In other words while gaining baby I lost weight) So I ended up weighing less after SM was born then when I started. I have very unforgiven skin and so have horrid stretch marks all over my stomach. ( I still use stretch mark creams... in vain me thinks)But the truth is I'm not ashamed of the stretch marks, my saggy boobs or my caesar scar. For me falling pregnant was a six year battle these "battle scars" were worth it!!

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  2. Wow Manth well done on loosing weight in your pregnancy! That is wonderful, good job Mantha x x It is hard but you were obviously very heathly?
    Hmmm stretch marks are not the greatest...hehee yip I tend to agree with you- I don't think the creams help. I think time helps, they do fade - mine have faded and are skin colour now, they are on my hips. I got them from big weight gain when I was in matric. I did not get any while pregnant.
    Your story puts things into perspective - 6 YEARS! Makes one realise what is truely important x x
    Thanks for sharing Hun xxx

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